Photo Flash: PlayMakers Repertory Company Presents Nambi E. Kelley's NATIVE SON
PlayMakers Repertory Company proudly opens its 2019/20 Mainstage season with Nambi E. Kelley's powerful and heart-stopping adaptation of Richard Wright's "Native Son". Directed by Colette Robert, and featuring original music by G. Clausen, the production runs from September 11 to 29, 2019.
1930s Chicago. Jazz, speakeasies, and gangsters come to mind. The Southside of Chicago where Bigger Thomas lives is an entirely different world. Bigger struggles to find his place, as a Black man, in a world where systemic oppression, racism, and poverty make fear and violence the everyday currency of life. When he takes a job in a wealthy white household, one fateful decision sends him down a seemingly inescapable path. "Native Son" is an unforgettable theatrical experience that captures the power of Richard Wright's iconic novel about oppression, freedom, and justice.
"When I was selecting plays for our Legacy| NOW '19-'20 season, I found myself drawn to works that provide insight into our present moment through the visceral and intellectual investigation of the stories of our past," said PlayMakers' Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch. "Nambi E. Kelley's adaptation of 'Native Son" was the perfect, gutsy, all-too-timely choice to open our Mainstage season. In the hands of the magnificent Colette Robert and our amazing company-led by Brandon Haynes as Bigger Thomas-this production has a fast-paced, cinematic quality to it that leaves you on edge the whole 90 minutes, with all your senses engaged and your perceptions challenged."
"As a director, I am drawn to iconic stories like 'Native Son,' because I'm fascinated by exploring the in-between spaces of what has come before, and what the world could change to be-once we have unearthed those hard-learned lessons," said director Robert. "I hope audiences leave the theatre heartbroken, but thoughtful and introspective as well."
The first stage adaptation of Richard Wright's "Native Son" was written in Chapel Hill, by Wright and North Carolina playwright and humanitarian Paul Green, in 1941.
"Native Son" features April Mae Davis as Bessie ("Jump," "Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood"), Julia Gibson as Mrs. Dalton ("The Cake," "An Enemy of the People"), Brandon Herman St. Clair Haynes as Bigger Thomas ("Life of Galileo," "Tartuffe"), Tia James as Hannah (PlayMakers debut; Broadway's "The Merchant of Venice"), Sarah Elizabeth Keyes as Mary ("Leaving Eden," "She Loves Me"), Amadio as Buddy (PlayMakers debut; Manbites Dog Theatre's "The Miraculous and The Mundane"), Brandon J. Pierce as The Black Rat (PlayMakers debut; Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's "Richard II"), Adam Poole as Jan ("Jump," "Sweeney Todd"), and Daniel P. Wilson as Britten ("Life of Galileo," and Raleigh Little Theatre's "Blood Done Sign My Name").
The Creative Team of "Leaving Eden" includes: Colette Robert (Director; Ensemble Studio Theatre's "Behind the Sheet" and "Tempo"), Lawrence E. Moten III (Scenic Designer; Broadway's "What the Constitution Means to Me"), Bobbi Owen (Costume Designer; "Intimate Apparel," "Life on the Mississippi"), Reza Behjat (Lighting Designer; Waterwell's "Hamlet"), G. Clausen (Sound Design; Studio Theatre's "PYG or The Misedumacation of Dorian Belle"), Chika Ike (Assistant Director; American Repertory Theatre's "Moby Dick"), Gwendolyn Schwinke (Vocal Coach; Shakespeare and Company's "Taming of the Shrew"), Tracy Bersley (Movement Coach & Intimacy Director; "My Fair Lady"), Adam Versényi (Dramaturg; "The Nutcracker"), and Charles K. Bayang (Stage Manager; "Bewilderness").
Due to rough language, adult situations, and racially-charged scenarios, we encourage patrons to use their own discretion in determining the age appropriateness of the material.
For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit www.playmakersrep.org. Individual ticket prices start at $15.
Photo Credit: HuthPhoto